20 Jun, 2013
I finally figured out how to store cilantro properly!
Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food
This may be old news to some of you, but I just discovered how to keep fresh cilantro (a.k.a. coriander) from dissolving into a swampy mess in our veggie drawer.
How long have I been cooking for myself? Twenty years? More? Every bunch of cilantro inevitably wilted and rotted, turning into soggy mush way before I had the chance to use it all. Compounding the problem was the fact that cilantro is sold in large bunches and recipes often call for small amounts. Of course I could make batches upon batches of cilantro pesto (or freeze it – you can freeze cilantro in ice cube trays for stews and things), but I was never motivated to do so.
Well, I am a changed woman. My cilantro now stays fresh for several weeks. WEEKS PEOPLE. This is good news for many reasons. It saves money and time, but more importantly it saves my sanity. I cannot tell you how much I hate wasting food. Wasting food is bad.
By spending a few minutes on newly-purchased bunches of this fragrant herb I can feed my cilantro-lovin’ self for much longer now. And that, my friends, makes me happy.
And so without further ado, here is the BEST way to store cilantro…
First, remove the elastic band. This is where most of the rotting action occurs. In fact, you should remove the bands off all of your produce before you put it away.
Thoroughly wash the cilantro and let drain in a colander for a few minutes.
Grab a long section of paper towel (5 or 6 pieces or so) and lay it out on the counter. Gently separate the smaller bunches and spread out the cilantro, like this:
Take the time to remove all the squashed, discoloured, and rotting leaves. Many will be concentrated in the middle of each little bunch. If you are serious about keeping your cilantro around for more than a week, do not skip this step. Rotting begets rotting!
The paper towel will absorb a lot of the moisture, but I like to dab the leaves a bit and dry them off. Here’s the thing, you shouldn’t put fresh herbs in the fridge when they are sopping wet. You are heading to mushville if you do that.
Starting from one of the paper towel ends, gently roll up the cilantro. You are creating a CILANTRO ROLL, like this:
Once it’s rolled up all you need to do is tuck it into a plastic bag. It fits into a milk bag perfectly. (Canadians will know what I’m talking about here.) You don’t need to secure the end of the bag, I think a little bit of air is a good thing. Just put it in the fridge as is. The next time you need cilantro, it’s all ready for you! Just unroll a bit and take what you need.
My mission is to help at least ONE person save their cilantro from turning into a soggy rotting mess, so if this information helped you at all, please let me know!
p.s. This is almost as exciting as my perpetual green onions! I love saving money in the kitchen, don’t you?